In a world that is currently going through a digital revolution, people are trying to break into the digital sphere one way or another. Creating skits, DIY tutorials and even blogging have been adopted by creatives as a means to reach a wider audience.
Blogging currently plays a huge role in filling the unemployment gap caused by the global pandemic. It is no news that many Canadians lost their job and are trying to adapt to the new normal.
Many have tried their hands on several ways to make money online including blogging and failed. Only a few have been able to hone their blogging skills and make an income out of it. If you are merely blogging for the money and are not passionate about it, you might be setting yourself up for failure.
Blogging For Money
There is no one way to blogging, what might work for blogger A might fail for blogger B. The most important thing is to create a niche you have some interest in writing on. Starting a blog is quite easy but maintaining the momentum to generate traffic and profit is an arduous task.
Focus and persistence are very crucial to building a substantial audience and staying relevant with your prose. Blogging takes time and dedication before profitable results can be seen.
One of the biggest perks of blogging is that it can be done remotely. Blogging is one of those jobs you can do while keeping your full-time job. And it takes very little money to start-up a blog.
Blogging in Canada is quite easy as you don’t have to register it as a business unless you are earning CA$30,000 or more as revenue. And in a situation like this, you will need to collect sales tax from your clients. You will have to pay taxes as charged by your province. Also, the Canadian data law must be used as a guideline for your blog content.
Reasons People Go into Blogging
There are several ways to make money online as a Canadian, and blogging is one of them. People go into blogging for different reasons, some of which include:
- To share their story
- Promote businesses
- To pass time
- Start a remote job
- To make money
- Help people by discussing specific topics that concern them
- To gain exposure for your creativity
For whatever reason you choose to go into blogging, you must establish your blog in the right way. There are some steps to be taken to ensure your blog is not only appealing to the audience but also add value and serves the purpose you want it to.
In this article, we will be giving you a step-by-step guide on how to start a blog in Canada and make money from it. To ease the process, the steps have been divided into two major sections. So, we will be looking at Starting a blog in Canada as an entity and Making money from a blog in Canada as another.
Average Cost of Starting a Blog in Canada
Here’s a breakdown of the typical cost of starting a basic, self-hosted blog in Canada:
Domain Name: Free with Bluehost or $12.99 average for a .com extension and $15.99 for a .ca extension
Webhosting: $150 annually, Bluehost gives you up to 70% off the first year
Webdesign: Average $60 – $150 if you hire on Fiverr
Website theme: $39 average in Envato Market
Starting A Blog
You must have had one idea or the other on a topic but you are stuck on how to put it out for commercial consumption. Though blogging is a great way to share your thoughts, experience and educate people, the truth is it doesn’t come easy.
You might think that all you need is great content and audience, but it is beyond that. Yes, you need great content to direct traffic to your blog. But the following are also essential steps you must take if you want to start blogging in Canada.
Create a Niche
Creating a niche has to do with picking a subject-matter to base your blog on. You can’t just blog on everything, though occasionally you can chip in random content to spice things up. But there must be a particular niche your audience identifies you with.
So, when you are considering starting a blog, you must first be creative about what the blog will be based on. That would be your niche. You could blog about sports, food, lifestyle, movies, books, cars, technology, health, fashion, finance, etc. the list is endless.
You can even narrow it down, if your niche is health, you can decide to blog about mental health and self-care. This would make it easier for you to develop content as you would be focused on your niche.
Which brings us to the question – How do you choose your niche? Choosing a niche for your blog depends on your interest and your proposed target audience. Whose attention are you trying to capture? Who are the people you want to get across to? If you are able to identify this, either by taking a quick survey online to get pointers or by extensive online research, then, you are good to go.
You must have some knowledge of what you want to blog about. Don’t blog about the things you don’t know because your audience is reading your blog to get educated. Blogging is about sharing what you have in terms of knowledge and information.
It’s not about being a professional most times. Mostly, all that you need is a basic knowledge of the Subject-matter. You can research extensively and deliver your content in a captivating and interesting style.
Find A Good Blogging Platform
On what platform do you want people to access your content? There are several blogging platforms you can integrate your content on. These platforms are like a social media application. What should you consider when choosing a blogging platform? When choosing a blog platform, check for flexibility. You don’t want your creativity to be limited.
A free platform is good but may not be the best if you want to make money from the blog without having to wait for many years to gain organic traffic and access to monetize your blog. It is advisable to use a self-hosted platform like WordPress.org which allows you to customize your blog to suit your niche. Note that WordPress is not free. But it gives you unlimited access to customize your blog and allows you to monetize it as much as you want.
There is a difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, with the former, although there are lots of limitations in the free version. But with the latter, there is little to zero restriction. WordPress.org is self-hosted and offers unlimited customization options.
Blogger arguably comes next after WordPress. It is a free platform, hence, you are limited in terms of customization and monetization. Other blogging platforms include:
- Site 123
Whichever platform you decide to go for, ensure you are in control of your blog and the platform doesn’t limit your ability to make the blog yours and make money from it on your own terms.
Getting A Web Host
If you’ve decided to go for a self-hosted blog, the next step is to choose a good web host. The main function of your web host is to make your blog accessible on the internet. There are some features you should look out for when choosing a web host for your blog, they include:
- Substantial bandwidth
- Superior features and technology
- Sufficient email
- Secure location
Other things to look out for are; good reputation and guaranteed uptime in case of technical problems like power outage and an internet blackout. If you’re a beginner blogger, we recommend Bluehost web host for your blog. Bluehost offers you all the basic functionality of a modern web host and is one of the most affordable.
It is one of the largest web hosting providers globally. And it has quite a lot of eye-catching features like:
- An easy-to-use dashboard
- Fully customizable websites
- Built-in security
- Fast web pages
- 24/7 expert support
- Free SSL
A web host can be easily integrated with WordPress. It has a one-click WordPress install feature that allows you to set up your blog in a few minutes.
Bluehost is however not free but very much affordable. There is a Basic plan tagged for CA$11.95 per month that comes with a discount of more than 70% for first-timer for a year. So as a first-timer, you pay CA$3.92 monthly. There is the Plus plan, the Choice Plus plan and the Go Pro plan for CA$22.59, CA$27.91 and CA$43.86 per month respectively.
Also, each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free domain name for a year. As for the WordPress Hosting, the plans are quite different in prices; the Basic plan is normally CA$11.95 per month but you pay only CA$3.92 as an introductory offer. The Plus plan and the Choice Plus plan are normally CA$15.94 and CA$22.59 respectively but start at CA$7.25 as the introductory offer.
The WordPress plans each has their different features, you can find out more on www.bluehost.com. There are other web hosting providers like Godaddy, Hostgator, Dreamhost but Bluehost comes highly recommended.
Getting A Blog/Domain Name
A domain name is your blog address. You can think of it as your web I.D card. When people want to search for you on the internet, they type in your domain name. Your domain name should not be obscure. That is, it should give people an idea of what your blog is about.
If you blog as a person, you can use your name, for example; DiariesofAlicia.com and if it’s about life hacks, you can use; lifeskills101.com, just like ours, CanadaBuzz.ca Whatever you choose, make sure it’s short and relevant to your niche.
Remember, we said Bluehost gives a free domain for one year, so, we would also recommend Bluehost for a domain name. The thing about a domain name is that it is exclusive, so if someone is already using what you have in mind, you’ll have to find another variation to use. On Bluehost, you can easily check to see if a domain name is available by simply searching on their domain name search tool.
So, let’s assume you have chosen WordPress as your blogging platform and Bluehost as your web host. Since it comes with a free domain, you will find an available domain name and go on to complete your registration. The process is simple;
- Enter your personal information
- Choose your hosting plan
- Pay with your credit card
- Set a password
- Log in
If your one-year freebie expires, you can continue by paying an annual fee based on the extension you decide to use. Below is a table showing the extensions and their price in CAD.
Of these extensions, “.com” is the most common.
Creating A Theme/Design
The final step in starting a blog is creating a theme. Once you are logged in, Bluehost will ask you to select a theme for your blog. We recommend Envato Themes for creating an outstanding design for your blog.
The theme or design of your blog is what keeps your audience glued to their screen. If you have a dull and unappealing interface, it will discourage people from paying attention to your content. Most people get distracted easily, so you must ensure you have everything in place including your theme to set your blog up and running.
Envato offers a wide variety of theme collections you can choose from including WordPress themes. With an annual subscription, you have unlimited access to over 53 million creative resources. There are different plans ranging from Individual to Team and Enterprise. There is also a Student plan with 30% discount.
Flexibility, professionalism, appeals to the eyes, compatible with any mobile device and security are what you should look out for when picking a theme for your blog. After selecting your desired theme, you can then go on to design your blog by editing and customizing your home page, About and Contact details. Your blog is set, yes you did it. Now you can upload content and start publishing
All too confusing?
Hire a professional on Fiverr to get it all done for you! If you need to build a website to upload your content or a professional logo, graphic designs or even content for your blog, you can check out Fiverr. Fivver comes in highly recommended if you’re looking for world-class design at ridiculously low rates. You can find a freelancer based on your niche and budget.
There you have it, easy right? Let’s proceed to how you can make money from your blog.
Making Money from A Blog
If you are using a free blogging platform, you will have to generate traffic organically and wait until you can monetize your blog through ads which might take a while.
However, if it’s a self-hosted platform that allows you to monetize your blog as you wish like WordPress, you can make money from your blog in various ways. Even with free blogging platforms, there are ways you can make money from your blog, they include:
- Selling your products or services
You can sell your products/services on your blog, this means you will make posts about any products/services you’re rendering and publish them. If they are things that interest your reader, you can be sure to make money when they buy from your blog website.
- Selling Digital Products
Another way to make money from your blog is to sell digital products like EBooks. If your blog offers valuable information and you’ve honed your skills in your field, you can write an eBook on it and get people to buy from your blog. Of course, you must have given a lot of free and valuable information out before people buy it. Other digital products you can sell include Software, Photography, Audio File and Music Production Software.
- Affiliate Marketing
You can be an affiliate marketer. This means that you market other people’s products or services on your blog. You get a certain percentage as agreed upon and every time someone buys it through your unique link on your blog, the said percentage is credited into your registered account.
You can independently run ads on your blog without waiting till you can monetize your blog. Of course, you will charge for the ads as you deem fit.
- Sponsored Posts
You can also do sponsored posts. That is, other people pay you to publish posts for them. The posts could be in form of promotion of their businesses or services.
Even as you make money from your blog, you should promote your blog via social media or any other platform that gives you the needed exposure.